Every few years, humanity has new causes for concern. Predictions of Nostradamus, the curse of Rasputin, the deathless delirium of Vanga and even the Mayan calendars forgotten by all gods: we just love the very idea of the apocalypse. Nevertheless, this time everything sounds a little more serious. Astronomers have discovered a massive star in the sky, which can destroy our entire planet. Moreover, it is assumed that the appearance of a similar star has already led to the disappearance of dinosaurs.
What it is
Gliese 710 is an orange dwarf of the spectral class K7. The mass of the star is enormous and is more than half the mass of the Sun; the diameter also exceeds half the width of our native lead. And now imagine a gigantic, shimmering with hellfire, rushing through outer space directly to Earth. This is what is happening right now.
Where is she now
Astronomers of the Polish University named after Adam Mickiewicz, Poznan, were engaged in determining the exact origin of the killer star. Glize 710 flies in 64 light years from the solar system. Given that one light-year is 9 461 000 000 000 km, it will take a long time to fly to us.
A hair’s breadth from death
A little earlier, the existence of the Glise 710 did not bother scientists: the star had to pass at a safe distance in one light year. However, to date, astronomers have received much darker predictions – Glize 710 will fly just 77 light days from Earth.
Collisions as such are not feared. Scientists are more concerned about this problem. The fact is that the star will pass through the so-called Oort cloud (the area around our system, entirely consisting of cometary nuclei). The researchers assume that the gravitational field of the wandering star will cause oscillations in the entire cloud. Comets from the Oort cloud will be in the solar system itself and, most likely, will crash into the Earth.
Star Gliese 710 will provoke a comet rain of about ten comets per year for 3-4 million years – Giorgio Portsky, co-author of the study
Repetition of the past
Some scientists suggest that a similar passage of the star through the Oort cloud provoked the fall of the asteroid, which destroyed the dinosaurs about 65 million years ago. However, the researchers are concerned about the too large size of Gliese 710: if it slips through the cloud of comets, the meteorites that it caused will not merely destroy our species-they will sweep away the entire planet from orbit.